Lukanyo Mnyanda Editor: Business Day

The downsides of having two countries to call home is that you get twice the agony when things go wrong. It's probably safe to assume that I'm far from being the only South African dismayed by the latest events at Eskom. More than a year after the appointment of a new board, various committees and task teams, the situation looks as bad as it has ever been, with chunks of the country having virtually no power over the weekend. And that was preceded by the utility being granted inflation-busting tariff increases by the regulator, effectively 14% for 2019, with 8.1% in 2020 and 5.22% to come in the following two years. In the current environment of lacklustre growth and depressed consumer spending, well-run companies providing a reliable service simply do not have this kind of pricing power, and yet South Africans, in this case, are being asked to pay more for less. On top of that, Eskom is due to receive guaranteed government bailouts totalling R69bn over the next three years, possibl...

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